What the Republicans Could Use Is a Good Psychiatrist.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, talks about the deadline to fund the government Thursday on Capitol Hill.

Republican nowadays is not so much the name of a political party as it is that of a  peculiar strain of obsessive-compulsive disorder.  Mitch McConnell may have presaged as much when he publicly announced  soon after Obama's election that the main goal of the GOP was to prevent his reelection in 2012.  What followed was the mother of all obstructionism every step of the way.  Failing to accomplish that goal  has only accelerated the descent of the party into a OCD black hole.  Now every few weeks there seems to be a new manifestation of the disease.  Why else have there been over 40 votes in the Republican-controlled House to defund Obamacare? Why else is Darrell Issa , Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee conducting one witch hunt after another? Even though he has  just admitted there has been no gotcha in his Benghazi hearings.  Moreover, the  Tea Party caucus  has only worsened the condition.

The Republicans have a  Russian doll of symptoms. Inside their  animus for Obama is their  obstructionism. Inside their  obstructionism is their trumped-up debt ceiling and  budget crisis. Inside this  so-called fiscal cliff is the all-out war to defund and destroy ObamaCare.

In a way it has all the earmarks of   a French farce , and  it would tickle our  funny bones if only it didn't have such grave  consequences. Like undermining good governance. Or any governance at all.

 

Filed under: government, politics

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  • On the U.S. House, I am coming around to agreeing with you.

    However, this is not just a Republican disease. The Illinois House and Senate have veto proof Democrat majorities and similarly can't get anything meaningful done. Pension reform was held up because Cullerton and Madigan purportedly couldn't agree on what was constitutional. Quinn tried to paper over the legislature's ineffectiveness by having bill signings on all sorts of meaningless bills (I went into Steve Dale's blog on one of those), but at least found that it is a populist cause to line item veto their salaries, without himself proposing a pension bill. Meanwhile, the rest of the politicians are only concerned about not having to face Lisa Madigan in an election.

    Maybe a good example of local bipartisan insanity is the current effort to bring management of the transit systems to its knees. Emanuel thinks it is better to use his 4 votes to block 8 others, rather than for the RTA to do its business within the time specified by law.

    What's different today is that there used to be the Schoolhouse Rock on "I am a Bill" which demonstrated how legislation is passed, including conference committees. Somehow, both Boehner and Reid failed to watch that when they were younger, and instead of doing the peoples' business, the House has decided to pass bills that Reid says are dead on arrival. People get their talking points on the Sunday shows, but nothing gets done.

  • In reply to jack:

    Of course, Jack, I was addressing the Republicans on the national level. You are perfectly right to point out our dysfunctional state government for its own failings.

  • Oh, brother. Always the partisan. Republicans "bad", Democrats "good".

    The various branches of government are not supposed to walk in lock-step. That, my Quark, is the basis for dictatorship.

    You play one note, over and over and over, and it is off key.

  • In reply to Richard Davis:

    Some Republicans are speaking out about the insanity of shutting down the federal government. So I would imagine we can award them merit badges too. But, Richard, isn't it time to put aside the recalcitrant partisanship in the House and start to govern responsibly and let the Affordable Care Act be implemented? After all, it is the law and it's mandate provision did get the imprimatur of the Supreme Court.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Aquinas, the federal government shuts down each weekend and on all holidays. A so-called government shutdown will not stop SS checks from going out, the armed services and federal law enforcement will function, and other necessary services will continue.

    The Affordable Care Act, now that it is being executed, is opposed by the majority of the population, and the Peoples House, the House of Representatives, is responding to the will of the people. If the ACA is so great a thing, why does the President decide who it applies to and who it does not, and what parts of it can be implemented and not, which is outside his authority to do so? Obama is opposing his own namesake bill where politcally expedient.

    Aquinas, you do play the same note over and over, which is Republicans are bad and Democrats are good. If you were to be intellectually honest you would find some fault with some Democrat somewhere and then your positions seem more honest. With the same long note playing it is hard to believe that you can look at things realistically, but only through the lens of a highly charged political true believer.

    Or.... admit that you are an extreme partisan and then we can all agree to disagree and you can title your blog: "Democrat Review".

  • In reply to Richard Davis:

    Richard, are you and Dennis Byrne giving up your Social Security?

    The Republicans admitted before the Supreme Court that a single payer plan would clearly be constitutional, so was Obama's and Romney's problem in keeping the insurance companies in business.

    The one thing I figure is that an insurance company that previously rejected me for a preexisting condition recently accepted me. I had insurance in the interim but that company raised me 35% at once. Would continued extortion by that company be o.k. in Boehner's playbook?

    Finally, if the majority is opposed, why don't you post some links showing actual statistical evidence of that? Given that a large number of members of the public are on Medicare, Medicaid, or getting mandated free service at hospitals, I doubt that you can.

  • "its mandate" I meant to write.

  • I don't know if you want to get to back to this or not, but with commentators on Fox News Channel and Fox News Sunday being pretty unanimous that this is a publicity stunt, probably to placate talk radio and certain donors, without an end game, and that there isn't even unity within the Republicans or an effort to bring over conservative Democrats, if it isn't insanity, I don't know what is.

    After all, we are talking Fox News here, not MSNBC.

  • In reply to jack:

    I guess there is a limit to party unity.

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